Russian Visitors Drive Bulgarian Tourism to Grow by 3-4%Tourism | August 23, 2012, Thursday // 19:30| views
Bulgaria's tourism sector will grow in 2012 primarily thanks to the Russian tourists. Photo by BGNES
Bulgaria's tourism sector will register a 3-4% growth in 2012 largely thanks to the higher number of tourists from Russia and Ukraine, according to data of the Bulgarian Economy Ministry.
The tourism businesses themselves expect a 2-3% growth in revenues, the Bulgarian Capital Daily reported Thursday.
It cites data of the Bulgarian Association of Hotel and Restaurant Owners indicating substantial occupancy levels for June, July, and August.
Russian tourists are set to be the single most important group of foreign tourists in Bulgaria in 2012 in terms of revenues, after in 2011 for the first time the number of Russian holidaymakers in Bulgaria surpassed the number of German tourists.
In all of 2011, Bulgaria was visited by some 450 000 Russians, with tourism officials expecting their total number to reach 600 000 by the end of 2012, or a growth rate of about 30%.
Bulgaria's Economy Ministry expects a 5% growth in the number of German tourists year-on-year, while the business sector expects about the same number of German visitors as in 2011.
The government data also forecasts the same number of British and Scandinavian tourists as in 2011.
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